Onion Basket of Asia

 Bongabon is the leading onion producer in the Philippines and Southeast Asia

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Agriculture is the main industry in the town of Bongabon. Some of the product  that produced in great quantities are rice, corn, onions, tomatoes  and other different kind of vegetables. 

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 With the skills, strong perseverance and diligence of the farmers of Bongabon, Bongabon is considered as the onion capital of the country , with about more than 3,000 hectares of its land is producing more than half or about 60% of total onions harvest in Nueva Ecija province.

What is life without Onions?

Onions is one of the most important horticulture crop around the world.This is the oldest vegetable used by mankind in every kitchen ingredients from raw or cooked.

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Onions are members of allium  family a close relation with the garlic. It is often called “king of vegetables” because of its pungent taste. 

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There are two types of onions with about 300 varieties around the world. The use of onions, believed to have originated in middle east and have been consume by humans for about 5,000 years.

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What is health without Onions

The health benefits of onions are endless because of its powerful anti septic and  anti bacterial properties.

Nutritional Value:

There is considerable variation in composition between different varieties and they also vary with the stage of maturity and the length of storage. 

Onions is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti cancer propertied, and even help lower cholesterol level, it is very rich in vitamins A, B and C. It is potent source of folic acid, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, chromium, iron and dietary fiber. 

Health Benefits:

Ancient records reveal that onions have been used as far back as 4000 B.C. as a cure-all for many illnesses.  In WW II, the vapors of onion paste was used to reduce the pain and accelerated the healing of soldiers’ wounds.

Even now, we find many medicinal properties from this dynamite bulb(onions).

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 Anemia  The high content of iron in onion makes it beneficial for the treatment of anemia.

Anti-coagulant  – Just by eating half a medium raw onion daily can significantly lower cholesterol and help prevent heart attacks.

Anti-inflammatory  The anti-inflammatory agents in onion are useful in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and gout.

Anti-septic  Fights infection bacteria, including E.coli and salmonella, and is effective against tuberculosis and infections of the urinary tract, such as cystitis.

Blood Pressure –  Whether you eat it raw or cooked, onions help to lower blood pressure naturally.  It also thins the blood, dissolve blood clots and clear the blood of unhealthy fats.

Cholesterol  Eating half a medium raw onion daily significantly helps to correct thrombosis, lower the LDL cholesterol and prevents heart attacks.

Colon Cancer Prevention  Fructo-oligosaccharides in onions stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the colon and help reduce the risk of tumors developing in the colon.

Constipation and flatulence  Add plenty onion in your cooking to help relieve chronic constipation and flatulence.

Diabetes  Chromium in onion helps diabetics’ cells respond appropriately to bringing down the insulin level and improve glucose tolerance.

Diuretic and blood cleansing  Help counter fluid retention, urinary gravel, arthritis and gout.

Ear Disorder  In some culture, cotton wool is dipped into onion juice and put into the ear to stop ringing in the ear.

Hair Loss –  A study has shown that applying onion juice on scalp twice a week for 2 months will cause hair regrowth. Definitely cost much less that those hair tonic.

Immune Booster  The pungency increases blood circulation and causes sweating.  Useful in cold weather to ward off infection, reduce fever and sweat out colds and flu.

Osteoporosis –   A compound has recently been identified in onions that prevents the activities of breaking down bone. Especially beneficial for women who are at risk for osteoporosis as they go through menopause.

Respiratory  Mix equal amounts of onion juice and honey and take 3-4 teaspoons of this mixture daily.  It helps liquefy mucus and prevents its further formation.  It is also one of the best preventive potion against common cold.

Sexual Debility –   Onion is a potent aphrodisiac and stands second only to garlic.  For this, the white variety is most effective.

Urinary Tract Infection  Boil some onion in water till half of the water evaporated.  Sieve the onion water, leave to cool and drink.  The anti-bacterial properties help to relieve the burning sensation in urination.

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How to plant Onions?

Climatic and Soil Preparation:

Onions grown in seasonal rotation in rice field during dry seasons, it requires cooler weather during the early stages of growth and a dry atmosphere with moderate height temperature for onions development and maturation. Planting can be done by September or October for yellow onions to as late as December for the red onions.  Onions grow well in friable and well drained loam soil with good water holding

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Land Preparation:

Land preparation is done at least one month prior to transplanting. The ise of tractor or Carabao driven implement requires 1-2 plowing and harrowing operations. Bed 1 meter wide  are recommended.

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Transplanting:

Transplant of seedlings 4-6 weeks after sowing. Gently uproot the the seed to prevent root damage. Plant deep enough but not so deep. Press the soil firmly around the basal portion. Irrigate the field after transplanting.

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Fertilization:

In the absence of soil analysis, there are some recommendation for the use of fertilizer like ammonium sulfate,  super phosphate and  muriate of potash. The recommendation is based on how many bags or kilos are to be applied depend on the age of the plant.

Cultivation:

By using train Carabao, in between  onion beds is cultivated and some of grasses that hinder the growth of onions are removed. They called this process as klaveria.

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Irrigation: 

Bulb onions require adequate moisture for steady, continuous & desirable growth. Depending on soil types, irrigation varies between 4 & 7 days. Stop irrigation 2-3 weeks before harvest, or when 20-30% of the tops fold over. The last irrigation should be a light one.

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Pest and Decease Management:

There are different types of insect, starting to the top that damage the leaves to the bottom or the  roots of onions.  The use of chemical insecticides in the control of insect pests has left in its wake resistance of some pests to some of the conventional insecticides. Alternative methods of managing pests such as cultural control have to be employed to reduce pest infestation of crops. 

Harvesting

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Onions are ready to harvest a week after their tops have started to fall over and are yellowed. Lift the onions out of the ground. Take care not to damage the skins as this invites decay organisms in to attack the onion flesh. Onions should be harvested on a sunny day, cleaned of any soil still attached to them and then placed on top of the soil where they will dry out with the help of the sun and wind.. Leave the onions out for a few days (until the tops dry out).

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Remove the tops with a sharp knife about 2cm above the onion top so that decay organisms do not have direct access to the onion bulb.Discard any onions that show signs of decay or damage as these can affect healthy onions if they are stored. 


Bongabon Town Proper

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Bongabon,  is a second class municipality in the province of Nueva Ecija at the foot of Sierra Madre Mountains. With 28,352.90 hectares of land area.

Sibuyas Festival

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Every year Bongabon is celebrating their town fiesta, to make the fiesta more colorful, The Sibusan Festival is launched by the local government of Bongabon every second week of April,  in honor to their patron saint, St. Francis de Assisi, and to give thanks to God Almighty and for more abundant blessing and harvest for the following years.

 













SOURCE of INFORMATION:

Department of Agriculture, Mimaropa

Foods-healing-power.com

Buzzle

Juicing-forhealth.com

herbs2000.com

Gardening Patch.com

Sustainable agricultural research